Lifetime science fiction thriller The Lottery is difficult viewing, it feels too realistic; although the show’s style is not documentary in nature. Considering the current political climate in the U.S. the premise that in 2025 the government takes over and obliterates the dictum of “by the people, for the people,” is not too far fetched. It is all about control and killing those who do not follow the “corporate line.”
In the five short weeks that the series has been on air, Marley Shelton, Michael Graziadei, Athena Karkanis and David Alpay, as the four main “good guys” are becoming more entrenched in the dystopian powerplay being instigated by Martin Donovan. These actors are all delivering faultless performances as their counterparts in the show.
Dr. Alison Lennon, Kyle Walker, Vanessa Keller, James (Lennon’s assistant and friend) and Darius Hayes are all intertwined because of the world’s infertility crisis. Hayes is very busy orchestrating a government controlled rescue from humanity’s brush with extinction.
Lennon, who with James’ help, fertilized the 100 eggs that are now the country’s sign of hope because of the government run lottery, wants to find out what caused the world to become infertile. Keller is discovering that the Department of Humanity, run by Hayes, is running counter to the president’s wishes.
When James and Alison discover that the whole crisis seems to have stemmed from spider monkeys and that the doctor who was working on that project wound up dead after developing a possible cure, James is attacked and told to stop being a detective.
The 200 hopefuls who will be competing for the 100 fertilized eggs are chosen and will be voted for by the public; these lottery winners are sent to the capital to be put “on show”. This change is meant to improve the president’s poll placement and it seems to be working. Following two of the young ladies who hope to be one of the 100 new mothers, the whole process is shown to be a publicity heavy event that bears little resemblance to the truth of what is really happening..
Kyle loses custody of his six year-old son Elvis, despite his last minute move to have the boy’s mother declared the legal guardian. It turns out that Hayes is responsible for Walker’s son being taken away. Keller learns that the boy is just the first of many children who will be incarcerated and experimented on.
This scary direction that the government take in Timothy J Sexton’s dyonisian nightmare, does not seem too fantastical at all. Certain critics of the series fixated upon the desire of women across the globe, in the show, who wanted to be mothers in this bleak future.
These same critics ignored the fact that if worldwide infertility became an issue, mankind would die out. This latter forecast explains the government’s actions in racing to be the country who comes up with a cure first.
The fact that the same governmental departments are also racing to take away citizen’s rights along with controlling the dwindling number of children is all too believable.
In the U.S. right now, drones spy on average citizens. Phone calls are listened to by government agencies. In Missouri, tanks and weapons of war are called out to control denizens upset at the shooting of an unarmed teenager who was surrendering to the police.
More disturbing than the use of these heavy duty weapons being used in Ferguson, Missouri, is the news that these tanks, armored vehicles, grenades, et al are available to most states in a move by the government to, seemingly, militarize local law enforcement.
The idea that the real government is busy building the foundation of control in terms of the citizenry makes the scenario of Lifetime’s The Lottery feel all too real. So real in fact that it is difficult to call the show entertainment. The series with its plotline of “big brother” escalating from just watching the populace to taking over, is frightening enough to move the program out of its science fiction setting and into the area of horror.
By Michael Smith